A strong earthquake, with a magnitude of 8.0, hit in the Wenchuan area of China on May 12, 2008, resulting in significant changes to the land surface. Remote sensing (RS), especially synthetic aperture radar (SAR) RS technology can play a key role in detecting changes of the land surface. In the present paper, multitemporal Advanced Land Observation Satellite- Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (ALOS-PALSAR) data acquired on Feb. 17 and May 19, 2008 were used to analyze the land surface changes caused by the Wenchuan earthquake. The characteristics of the land surface in several sites hit by the earthquake are presented, by comparison of pre- and post-seismic images. Subsequently, the land surface changes caused by the earthquake were extracted using change detection and classification methods. To this end, land surface change detection can provide a detailed basis for assessing an earthquakes impact.